Enhanced hydrogen production by controlling light intensity in sulfur-deprived Chlamydomonas reinhardtii culture

Jun Pyo Kim, Chang Duk Kang, Tai Hyun Park, Mi Sun Kim, Sang Jun Sim

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78 Citations (Scopus)


Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a green alga that can use light energy to produce hydrogen from water under anaerobic conditions. This work reports the enhancement of hydrogen production by controlling the light intensity in sulfur-deprived anaerobic C. reinhardtii cultures. The overall hydrogen production was dependent on light intensity in the range of 60-200 μ E m- 2 s- 1. Maximum hydrogen production was obtained at a light intensity of 200 μ E m- 2 s- 1 as a result of the rapid initiation of hydrogen production and the greatest increase of chlorophyll during the initial 24 h after sulfur deprivation. However, the hydrogen production was inhibited at an intensity of 300 μ E m- 2 s- 1 of light owing to photosystem II photodamage by excess light. The maximum hydrogen production and the maximum specific production rate of hydrogen were 225 ml H2 l- 1 culture and 2.01 ml H2 g- 1 cells h- 1, respectively. Thus, hydrogen production by sulfur-deprived C. reinhardtii cultures can be maximized by controlling the light intensity at levels below saturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1585-1590
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was performed for the Hydrogen Energy R&D Center, one of the 21st Century Frontier R&D Program, funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea.


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Hydrogen production
  • Light intensity
  • Photosynthesis
  • Sulfur deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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